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Videogame Prescription Helps 12-Year-Old Beat Cancer

Taylor Carol

When 12-year-old Taylor Carol was diagnosed a little more than a year ago with leukemia, his treatment consisted of, among other things, chemotherapy, a bone marrow transplant, and a prescription to play the video game Re-Mission as often as possible.

Taylor was introduced to the game last June by child-life specialists working at Children's Hospital of Orange County in California, who demonstrated the game to the young patients on a laptop. It took him a little while to warm up to idea of playing a game that would force him to confront his condition. "For the first few months I didn't want to hear about it," Taylor told InformationWeek. "I was still in kind of shock."

Ultimately, his curiosity got the best of him. "After about my second round of chemo, I became more interested. I was feeling so gross, I wanted to know why this was happening," he says. "I really wanted to learn about my cancer, but I didn't want to do it by reading a text book."

Re-Mission became one of Taylor's most important resources for figuring out how cancer was affecting his body. "I learned that cancer cells reproduce so quickly," he says. "I thought maybe it would be two or three rounds of chemo, but it turns out it's a much longer fight. Fighting cancer is a lot harder than you think."


HopeLab, Re-Mission features a cancer-fighting nanobot named Roxxi who helps educate and entertain stricken teens. Through Roxxi's missions, Taylor learned about canker sores that are an inflammation of the soft tissue in the mouth and "stool jags" that occur during treatment that can puncture the lining of the colon and cause a bacterial infection.

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